I left India with almost the same amount of urgency and impulse with which I'd arrived. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was offered a job teaching fitness at a resort in the Caribbean. Aside from being given a start date and a salary agreement, I was asked to return home immediately so the company could fly me to my post in Punta Cana from the United States. I guessed flying me half way across the world at their expense was too much to ask, so I assumed the cost and used a substantial portion of my remaining savings to purchase a ticket back to my parent's house in Nebraska. Or rather, I should say tickets back to Nebraska since the route I booked was Rishikesh-->Delhi-->Mumbai-->Amsterdam-->Minneapolis-->Lincoln.
On such short notice, my transportation options from Rishikesh were limited so my friend, Rishi, hired me a private taxi to Delhi.
(Here's Rishi looking like Batman on his motorcycle.)
Rishi and I shared one last street chai before my early Easter Sunday morning departure.
Although it was a holiday weekend, I didn't think my detour for tea [tea-tour?] would be of any concern. I'd padded my travel time to Delhi by more than two hours. Unfortunately, I didn't account for the amount of oxen and water buffalo traffic jams we'd sit in that day.
After 8 hours trailing slowly amongst the bovine/bison brigade, I arrived at the Delhi airport with less than 30 minutes before my flight and wasn't allowed to check in. Remembering my previous success with the "white girl in distress" routine, I pushed my way to the front of the check-in line and tearfully scored a ticket for the next flight to Mumbai.
From there, things went smoothly until I got to Amsterdam. Since I was flying on standby tickets, I wasn't guaranteed, nor given, a seat on the first flight to America. I had to wait six more hours until the next flight to try again. With a pocket full of rupees, I couldn't afford the airport pastries and panekoeken, but [luckily] it being Easter weekend, there were free chocolate eggs all over the airport to satiate my layover hunger.
I got cleared for the next flight, and before I knew it, 50 hours of travel time had passed and I found myself hugging my family for the first time in six months. I quickly rattled off some of my non-blog-appropriate stories assuming that I was only home for enough hours to shower and do laundry before flying to the Dominican Republic.
That assumption was wrong.
The HR contact with whom I'd been communicating while in India told me to look out for an email detailing packing and travel plans. My rapid departure didn't leave me much time on the internet, so I assumed that email would be waiting for me when I returned to Western civilization.
That assumption was wrong as well.
Without an email in my inbox, I called my HR contact within a few hours of arriving home. What ensued thereafter was one week of placing phones calls to her as she confused who I was, what I was hired for and where I was assigned. It became painfully clear that the job I raced home for was no longer available. Although I trust in the Universe and am fully aware that things do not always work out the way they're planned, I still entered some very dark days of reverse culture shock and disappointment.
At a certain point, I got annoyed with my depressive demeanor and peeled myself off my bedroom carpet to re-enter the world of the living. I was happy to discover that my weepy week with no appetite led to a re-entry into my size 25 skinny jeans as well.
With a renewed determination to make the most of this situation, my skinny jeans and I decided to drive to my favorite coffee shop and restart the job hunt. Unfortunately, my new drive for liberation hit a minor road block as I turned on the car radio and heard John Mellencamp belting out how he's going to "prob'ly die in a small town." I shook my fist at the sky then changed the station to find Stevie Wonder singing about the "Joy Inside my Tears."
(Did I mention it was snowing? F*ckingsnowballf*ck!)
Aside from restricting myself from listening to the radio, my days have been occupied with applying and interviewing for new opportunities in Nebraska, the greater United States and Southeast Asia. I believe that the Universe must have brought me back to Lincoln for some enormous lesson. I'm not sure what that lesson is yet, but I think it may have something to do with patience, acceptance and trust.
And as for that job in the Caribbean...the HR woman finally called me back and offered to fly me to Florida to train me for another position with the company. The idea of getting out of my snowy small town was tempting, but I couldn't ignore the gut feeling that this company was not a good match for me. I gave the HR woman a non-violent empathetic piece of my mind and declined the offer. I realize the risk in turning down work in this economy, but I have to believe that something more aligned with my professional and personal vision is out there.
And even though everything feels like winter at the moment, as I look a little bit closer, I can see the definite emergence of Spring.
#hoping #wishing #praying